People think that working from home is much easier than working in an office but that isn’t the case. True, you get to work in your own home environment and manage your own schedule, which has a lot of benefits. On the other hand, you’re stuck in the same place all the time and it’s more difficult to separate your work and home life, especially right now with kids homeschooling.
If you are a parent that has started your own business from home, you might be feeling pretty burned out by now. Juggling your family responsibilities while working from home can lead to a lot of stress, but there are some simple ways that you can stay on top of things and avoid burnout.
Set A Clear Working Schedule
Setting your own work schedule can be a great thing but it can also cause people to overwork themselves and get burned out. When you work in an office, you have clear working hours and you go home at the end of the day and switch off. But when you’re working at home, it’s easy to get caught up in a project and continue working late into the night. Some people find it tough to motivate themselves to get up in the morning when they don’t have a specific time to be at the office, so they end up starting work later and being unproductive. When you don’t have that clear schedule in place and you aren’t working very productively, you’ll be way more stressed out.
You don’t necessarily have to work 9 to 5 because not everybody works best that way, but it is a good idea to work the same hours each day. When you first start working at home, you should experiment with different schedules to find the work pattern that is most productive for you.
Don’t fall into the trap of working weekends to catch up either. People think that this saves them time during the week and helps them avoid stress but it has the opposite effect. It’s so important that you have time away from work to relax, so make sure that you always take weekends off.
Go For A Walk
When you work from home, it’s so easy to end up stuck in the house for days on end without even realising it. But if you don’t get out and about and remove yourself from your workspace, you will drive yourself crazy. So, why not get up and go for a walk? Studies show that being out in nature has a calming effect and getting away from your work environment gives your brain a break and allows you to recharge your batteries a bit. Getting some exercise will also boost your mood and reduce stress levels too.
If you are at home with the family while you are working, you should get everybody together to go out for a walk at lunchtime. Everybody will benefit from taking a break and it’s a good way to spend time together.
When you go for a walk, consider leaving your phone at home so you can completely disconnect from work and take a proper break. Obviously, this isn’t always possible if you’re expecting an important call, but if you can, leave your phone behind.
Work Outside The House
When you feel yourself getting burned out, you should consider finding other places to work. A change of scenery goes a long way and you’ll find that you’re a lot more focused. Although your options are limited at the moment, you should still get out of the house as much as possible. However, you do need to make sure that you invest in the right tech tools so you can work on the move. For example, do you have a mobile contract that offers free wifi hotspots? If you don’t, visit https://halfcooked.co.uk/free-wi-fi-hotspots/ to help you find one. Having access to secure internet on the move makes life much easier when you’re trying to work. Cloud storage and document editing applications like Google Docs are ideal for working on the move too.
Don’t forget about the practical stuff as well, like a spare laptop battery or a portable charger so you don’t run out of juice halfway through something important. As long as you are well prepared, finding somewhere to work outside the house is a good way to avoid burnout.
Take Breaks To Run Errands
When you’re trying to juggle your work responsibilities with the rest of your home and family responsibilities, it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day. But the big mistake that people make is attempting to cram all of their work in as quickly as possible so they have time to do things like shopping or washing later on. The problem with this is that you end up working straight through without taking breaks, so you get burned out and the quality of your work suffers.
You’ll find that you are more productive overall if you take breaks to run your errands throughout the day. Having regular breaks and coming back to your work afterwards improves your focus a lot, and you’re killing two birds with one stone because you stay on top of your other responsibilities at the same time. When you organise your time in this way, you’ll get everything done much quicker, giving yourself more free time in the evenings to relax and unwind.
Use Some Breaks For Self Care
Although running errands during your breaks is an efficient way to use your time, you should use some of your breaks for self care. When you have half an hour off work, use it as an opportunity to look after your health and reduce your stress levels. You could try a short meditation, for example, or do some exercise. These are just examples and your version of self care might look different, but you should use your breaks to relax and look after your health. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, you should do a few stretches. Sitting down at your desk all day is bad for your joints and muscles and all of that tension can increase your stress levels. Doing some simple stretches will prevent back and neck pain and help you relax a little.
Get A Separate Work Phone
You might think that a second phone is an unnecessary expense because you can just use your personal phone. The problem is, that quickly leads to a very blurred line between your personal and work life. All of your work emails and messages come through to your personal phone, so in the evenings when you are trying to unwind, you are still thinking about work. Creating a clear barrier between the two so you can leave work behind at the end of the day is so important, and having a second work phone is the best way you can do that. At the end of the day, when it’s time to finish work, you can switch it off and put it away in a drawer. That way, you have a definitive line between your work and personal life and you’re not constantly checking your emails in the evenings.
You’re probably fed up of hearing that sleep is important for your health and you need to improve your sleep schedule, but there’s a reason that people go on about it all the time. Lack of sleep is directly linked to increased stress levels and if you’re overworking yourself and not getting enough sleep, you will soon burn yourself out. That’s why it’s important that you prioritise sleep.
Getting a separate work phone and setting clear working hours is a start, but you should also avoid staying up late watching TV or scrolling through social media. When you’re rushed off your feet it can feel like you hardly have any time to do the things that you enjoy. However, you shouldn’t prioritise those things over sleep. If you are struggling to maintain a schedule, visit https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/healthy-sleep-tips for some tips.
Socialise With Friends
There are a lot of differences between working in an office and working at home but one of the main things that people miss is the social aspect. When you are working at home on your own and you only interact with your family, it can quickly become quite isolating. People that lack social interaction are far more likely to suffer from mental health issues, which is why it’s important that you make an effort to connect with friends on a regular basis. If you know anybody else that works from home or any stay at home parents, why not see if they want to meet for lunch or go for a walk? Socialising with friends helps to break up the day and has a big positive impact on your stress levels, so make it a priority.
Burnout is very common in mums that work from home, but as long as you keep these tips in mind, you can find the right work-life balance.